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Auction Napa Valley raises nearly $10m

Auction Napa Valley, the annual fundraiser and showcase for Napa Valley wines, raised more than US$9.8 million over the weekend as hard-to-snag wines, such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, and Colgin Cellars produced heated bidding.

Many of the top lots were sweetened by glamorous automobiles, European trips and private dinners with vintners. The largest bid was US$1.1m for three 3-liter bottles of Staglin Family Vineyard Sangiovese, a trip to Italy with the winery owners and a Maserati.

Three 3-liter bottles of Screaming Eagle with a dinner and campout in the vineyard sold for US$500,000; and US$400,000 bought an 18-liter bottle of Hundred Acre and dinner for 10.

The Napa Valley Vintners have thrown the annual summer party for 27 years, raising US$80 million dollars for healthcare, youth services and low-income housing in Napa County.

Other top lots included four 3-liter bottles of Harlan Estate and a dinner for eight people for US$380,000; a wine collection of large-format bottles from various Napa Valley wineries and a Lexus hybrid auto for US$360,000; a dinner for 10 and 15 bottles of Araujo Estate wines for US$340,000; and seven bottles of Colgin Cellars and a dinner for US$320,000.

Lately, the event’s organizers have tinkered with the event’s format in response to loyal top bidders who indicated they desired a shorter auction within a more intimate setting.

The 2007 auction, with 45 live lots, was held in the evening under a white tent at the Meadowood resort. A five-course dinner was served to 800 people during the festivities, which also included a standup routine by comedian Dana Carvey.

The dinner and auction were the culmination of three days of wining and dining, Napa Valley-style. Also featured was a barrel auction, which brought in US$1.23 million, 50% more than in 2006 with the same number of cases offered.

10 Top Live Lots

Staglin Family Vineyards, US$1.1 million

Screaming Eagle, US$500,000

Hundred Acre US$400,000

Harlan Estate, US$380,000

Napa Valley Vintners and Lexus, US$360,000

Araujo Estate Wines, US$340,000

Colgin Cellars US$320,000

Opus One, US$280,000

Shafer Vineyards, US$250,000

NVV and Departures Magazine, US$220,000

10 Top Barrel Lots

Shafer Vineyards, US$104,950

Pride Mountain Vineyards, US$36,400

Joseph Phelps Vineyards, US$35,850

D.R. Stephens Estate, US$35,000

Blackbird Vineyards, US$28,150

Jones Family Vineyards, US$24,900

Nickel and Nickel, US$22,050

William Cole Vineyards, US$22,000

HDV, US$20,750

Etude, US$20,100

2007 Top 10 E-Lots

Kongsgaard, US$21,000

Viader Vineyards, US$16,500

Domaine Chandon, US$15,100

Sherwin Family Vineyards, US$15,100

Miner Family Vineyards, US$14,500

Etude Wines, US$12,400

Franciscan Estate, US$12,100

Arietta, US$11,800

Cakebread Cellars, US$11,200

NVV and Viking Range Corporation, US$10,600

Written by Janice Fuhrman in Napa

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